satellite TV

17 Stories

She Died at 102. Then Came the $160 'Termination Fee'

DirecTV said the service had been canceled early

(Newser) - The family of a California woman learned the hard way that death won't stop DirecTV from billing you, ABC7 reports. Isabel Albright of San Lorenzo died last December at 102—a remarkable longevity that included two world wars and 18 presidents—but it wasn't enough to terminate a... More »

FCC Nixes Decades-Old NFL Blackout Rule

But 5-0 vote against regulation doesn't necessarily mean all blackouts will end

(Newser) - Football fans may still experience occasional blackouts of local NFL games on TV—but it won't be because of the FCC anymore. In a unanimous 5-0 vote today, the commission repealed a law that has been in place since 1975 to prevent cable and satellite television providers from showing... More »

In Iran, Fight Brews Over Blocked Broadcasts

Tehran blocking foreign broadcasts while sending out its own

(Newser) - Should Iran be allowed to use Western satellites to broadcast its state-run TV channels to dozens of countries while it continues to jam Persian language-channels from abroad? Human rights activists, who complain that Iran has stepped up censorship of channels such as the BBC and the Voice of America in... More »

Have Cable or Dish? You Pay $100 'Sports Tax'

... even if you hate sports: NYT analysis

(Newser) - The NFL's hefty new contract with TV networks—as in $27 billion over nine years—prompts the New York Times to look into the booming business of sports on TV. The takeaway stat: Anyone with cable or satellite is paying what amounts to an annual "sports tax" of... More »

Satellite, Cable TV Customers Flee in Record Numbers

Combined figure hits 580K in second quarter

(Newser) - Sign of the times: The six biggest satellite and cable TV companies lost a combined 580,000 customers in the second quarter, which Bloomberg calls a record high. Take your pick of reasons: rising prices, increased online competition from the likes of Netflix, a lousy economy, the slump in home... More »

Top Complaints About Satellite TV

Watch the fine print on introductory offers, termination fees

(Newser) - It's almost enough to make you miss the old rabbit-ear antenna. The Consumerist rounds up the five most common complaints from satellite TV subscribers to the Better Business Bureau:
  • Early termination fees: They're sometimes as high as $600, with consumers complaining that they were misled or unaware of the policy.
... More »

TV Viewers Migrate to Web

Americans are more and more likely to have watched shows online

(Newser) - More and more Americans are watching television exclusively online and ditching their cable or satellite service. One-quarter of families have tuned in online, and 25% of those viewers have watched a full-length show on a computer—a 67% jump just since 2007. “The idea that you come home and... More »

Cable, Satellite Providers Push Pay-Per-View Porn

(Newser) - Times are tough, and for cable and satellite TV companies, that means—more porn. Comcast is following DirecTV's lead and ramping up advertising for adult pay-per-view channels, reports Advertising Age. The spots will generally run on guy channels such as Spike TV and ESPN in the wee hours. Meanwhile, the... More »

7% Not Ready for Digital TV Switch

With switch due Feb. 17, estimated 7% aren't prepared; feds' coupon program shaky

(Newser) - With US television’s transition from analog to digital broadcasting less than two months away, officials are worried that consumers still don’t have the signal-converter box, the Wall Street Journal reports. An estimated 7% aren’t prepared, and Congress, which authorized $1.34 billion for coupons to help consumers... More »

Saudi Judge: Kill Offending Broadcasters

Sheik urges fatwa on owners of channels with 'corrupt beliefs'

(Newser) - The highest judge in Saudi Arabia says “it is permissible” to murder owners of satellite TV networks that broadcast questionable material during Ramadan, the Guardian reports. When a caller to his radio show asked about channels featuring “bad programs,” Sheik Saleh al-Lihedan responded, “What does the... More »

Hi-Def Fans Allege Low Blow

Cable's compression of HD signals water down the product, connoisseurs say

(Newser) - TV enthusiasts are miffed that high-definition channels aren't looking as good as they should on expensive home-theater systems, the AP reports. Without much spare bandwidth, compressing the signal is cheaper for the cable companies than increasing capacity. "They have to figure out a way to deliver more HD content... More »

DirecTV to Get With Times, Add On-Demand

Satellite service will combine DVR, web streaming to deliver it

(Newser) - Challenged by cable and phone-company competitors, DirecTV will offer video-on-demand for the first time, a combination of DVR and broadband-connected content with significant limitations. Because the biggest satellite-TV provider doesn’t use terrestrial connections, it’s been long unable to offer instant play options. Its new plan will store some... More »

Liberty Looks to Leverage DirecTV Deal

In for a tough battle with better positioned telcos, cable companies

(Newser) - Closing Liberty Media’s $12 billion deal for a 41% share of DirecTV took more than a year, but positioning the satellite-TV service to rival telcos and cable companies offering triple-play packages of TV, phone, and broadband could be a bigger test, reports the Wall Street Journal today. The deal... More »

Getting the Word Out on Digital TV

Broadcasters kick off $697 million campaign

(Newser) - What's on TV? Soon, it will be an unprecedented $697 million campaign to get the word out on the upcoming switch to digital broadcasting. Starting February 18, 2009, viewers without a digital set or special converter box won't be able to watch TV. The upcoming educational campaign "may be... More »

Dish Network Parent Buys Slingbox

EchoStar will own brand that puts TV on your PC

(Newser) - EchoStar Communications, owner of the Dish Network, has agreed to acquire the maker of the Slingbox for $380 million. The satellite TV provider should close on the deal to buy Sling Media by year’s end, the AP reports. The Slingbox allows any Internet-connected computer to receive standard TV signals. More »

Cubans Ignore Static on Illegal TV

Even committed commies crave US satellite shows despite Castro ban

(Newser) - Cubans are turning to black-market satellite TV to watch soap operas, US news and music videos, and even the Chicago White Sox—in defiance of a national ban on the programs, the Christian Science Monitor reports. "If there is censorship, there is business," said one  provider who faces... More »

Google Scores First Deal to Serve TV Commercials

Automated system allows advertisers to buy and track commercials

(Newser) - Drunk with its success at dominating the internet ad business, Google wants to start serving up TV commercials, too. The first company to sign up is EchoStar Communications, a satellite TV provider which will announce today a deal with Google to broker commercials across its 125 TV channels. More »

17 Stories
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